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U.S. may act alone to ban Russian oil imports, sources say

Commodities Mar 07, 2022 09:51PM ET
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By Jarrett Renshaw and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is willing to move ahead with a ban on Russian oil imports without the participation of allies in Europe, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden held a video conference call with the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Monday as his administration continues to seek their support for a ban on Russian oil imports.

The White House is also negotiating with U.S. congressional leaders who are working on fast-tracking legislation that would ban Russian imports, a move that is forcing the administration to work on an expedited timeline, a source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A senior U.S. official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that no final decision has been made but "it is likely just the U.S if it happens."

Germany, the biggest buyer of Russian crude oil, has rejected plans to ban energy imports. Germany is accelerating its plans to expand its use of alternative energy sources but cannot halt imports of Russian energy overnight, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday.

Oil prices have soared to their highest levels since 2008 due to delays in the potential return of Iranian crude to global markets and as the United States and European allies consider banning Russian imports.

Europe relies on Russia for crude oil and natural gas but has become more open to the idea of banning Russian products. The United States relies far less on Russian crude and products, but a ban would help drive prices up and pinch U.S. consumers already seeing increasing prices at the gas pump.

"We import such a smaller percentage of oil from Russia than the Europeans do ... it is very different circumstance," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Sunday letter that her chamber is exploring legislation to ban the import of Russian oil and that Congress intends to enact this week $10 billion in aid for Ukraine in response to Moscow's military invasion of its neighbor.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill on Thursday to ban U.S. imports of Russian oil. The Senate bill is getting fast-tracked.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the White House slapped sanctions on exports of technologies to Russia's refineries and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has never launched.

So far, the United States has stopped short of targeting Russia's oil and gas exports as the Biden administration weighs the impacts on global oil markets and U.S. energy prices.

Asked if the United States has ruled out banning Russian oil imports unilaterally, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Sunday said: "I'm not going to rule out taking action one way or another, irrespective of what they do, but everything we've done, the approach starts with coordinating with allies and partners," Blinken said.

At the same time, the White House did not deny that Biden might make a trip to Saudi Arabia as the United States seeks to get Riyadh to increase energy production. Axios reported that such a trip was a possibility.

"This is premature speculation and no trip is planned," a White House official said.

A year ago, Biden shifted U.S. policy away from a focus on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is considered by many to be the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia and next in line to the throne held by the 85-year-old King Salman.

U.S. may act alone to ban Russian oil imports, sources say
 

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Comments (15)
Ayumastura PinkLady
Ayumastura PinkLady Mar 08, 2022 2:46AM ET
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very funny
John Doe
ForexInsiders Mar 07, 2022 10:57PM ET
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Lolol. Clueless Joe Biden. Ignoramus approved that 630m dollar pipeline that connects Russia to Afghanistan, and now they control the majority of the territory of said pipeline with the Invasion of Ukraine. Bravo......bravooo
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Mar 07, 2022 10:16PM ET
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And the Russia Uranium dependency that provides 20% of US electricity through nuclear power?
Sattar Langary
Sattar Langary Mar 07, 2022 9:17PM ET
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It is pathetic that we imported oil from Russia. We must be energy independent and a leading oil exporter as we were during President Trump!
Ernest Wong CA
Ernest Wong CA Mar 07, 2022 9:17PM ET
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based on your comment I can tell that you know nothing at all about crude oil. The crude oil the US exports is different from what's imported into. Google if you want
Gordon Qian
Gordon Qian Mar 07, 2022 9:17PM ET
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it's mainly the west coast that imports oil from Russia, cuz there's no pipeline connecting Texas to the west coast. Oil tanker transportation also isn't feasible cuz panama canal and Texas ports are restricted for smaller ships, and transporting oil using smaller ships is costly. Now if Trump haven't cancelled Canada's keystone pipeline to the Midwest USA, this would be less of a problem.
Sattar Langary
Sattar Langary Mar 07, 2022 9:16PM ET
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It is pathetic that we imported oil from Russia. We must be energy independent and a leading oil exporter as we were during President Trump! Please grow up guys!
Jerry Weber
Jerry Weber Mar 07, 2022 9:16PM ET
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Some people are just blinded by their hate towards a person that actually cared about America and its citizens!
Michael Redden
Michael Redden Mar 07, 2022 6:58PM ET
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the higher it goes, the more I think covid was a setup, the lockdowns were the only way to drive demand to zero, the only way to get oil to zero, to take control of world oil, to then send it to the moon, to then use riches to fund next NWO phase.....
Ernest Wong CA
Ernest Wong CA Mar 07, 2022 3:49PM ET
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LMAO
its private
its private Mar 07, 2022 2:58PM ET
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so all democrats are calling for $10 a gallon and triple the price for our food. all because they ALL hate oil. I mean it's not like they did not destroy the local oil production already.
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Mar 07, 2022 2:58PM ET
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no just because Powell pumped so much liquidity that even low grade speculators felt comfortable pumping Oli and all other commodities prices
Jo Pa
Jo Pa Mar 07, 2022 2:58PM ET
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they don't hate oil.  They hate us.
Hugh Fissore
HMJF Mar 07, 2022 2:58PM ET
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Because they all HATE Americans and don’t give a s…of their lives !
Bhagwan Dass
Bhagwan Dass Mar 07, 2022 12:24PM ET
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Biden means inflation
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Mar 07, 2022 12:13PM ET
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I call on the nations of the FREE WORLD to join the oil embargo! Putin must be stopped NOW! at all cost. -- It won't be a cozy ride. Wake up now coz waking up later is gonna cost you even more. Pull up your sleeves to look for alternative energy sources. You've got the brains. Brains are to be used. They're NOT for decoration.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Mar 07, 2022 12:13PM ET
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You exemplify the difference between those who are with Ukraine and those who support Putin. You are thoughtful with something to say about a better future. The Putin trolls have mere name calling to defend atrocities against humanity. You have values. They have no morality, just devotion to suffering.
 
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